Session/Game: Axeburg 3e #2
Episode 2: "Do Skrallings Crap in Zeevood?"
Campaign Date: Imperial Year 481
GM: Andrew Smith
Erkenvald, son of Borvald, trollson berserker, level 2 (Mike Miller)
Edvald, son of Rathgar, human, berserker, level 1 (Joe Fryar)
Grimbold, son of Rathgar, human, barbarian/runesmith, level 1/1 (Dave Nelson)
Atli, halfling, rogue/ranger, level 1/1 (Chuck Tillinghast)
Othere, son of Rathgar, human, brewmaster/barbarian, level 1/1 (Bob Laforge)
Grundi, son of Rathgar, human, skald, level 2 (Pete Zollers)
Dagmar, human, vola, level 2 (NPC)
Sven the Elf-Slayer, human, warrior, level 2 (NPC)
Xar 17th, Outside Axeburg
An alarm goes up. Four skrallings are seen placing spite poles into the ground just Northwest of Axeburg. The heroes rush the vile gnome-goblin halfbreeds and slay them easily. Grimbold discerns that the spite poles were crafted by a vola he had thought was a mythic figure -- the White Witch of the West. Meanwhile, Wulf has visited Atli in the klink and made him an offer he cannot refuse. Report back on what the "coal-chewers" are doing and give him all the disappointing information on them, and he sees that Atli gets off at the Thing and recieves 20 gold marks a year for his trouble. If Atli breathes a word of this arrangement to anyone, Wulf assures the halfling that he will hang from the Hanangar tree. Atli accepts Wulf's offer.
Vay 1st, The Thing, Axeburg
Hersir Rathgar Bloodheels summoned together the Axeburg Folk for the Thing assembly. As he sits next to his favorite son, Wulf a hush comes over the crowd. The skald Grundi reads off the cases one by one. Several thralls are beaten for attempting escape. Atli was found to be innocent of stealing Dagmar's thunderstone by the word of Wulf, the chief's son. Gerda's new guards demand a substantial wereguild payment from Bormund, Erkanvald, and Atli. Next the Thing hears from the finger-challenged Ludheim the Elder who asks for the Chief's help in obtaining wereguild from one of the Jarl's huscarles. The chief wisely points Ludheim to the Jarl's thing. Next Askir the Dog weasels the entire life's savings from a poor rube seaman named Maltvick of Gulfhall. Hoodi the Commoner is awarded damages from Frodomere the Skald for the halfling's plagarism of Hoodi's epic song, "The Wise Skald and the Mighty Silver Salmon Who Lives Under the Frozen River". Hosea the commoner asks for the chief's help in obtaining damages for livestock stolen by the Jarl's men. Just as Ludheim the Elder was instructed to consult the Jarl's Thing Hosea is also pointed in the Jarl's direction. Hanjir Osmundson calls out Sven the Elf-Slayer in Holmgang for polluting his youngest wife. The landowner Hanjir wins the close bout by slaying poor Sven. Finally, Edrun Ludmanson requests the chief's help in ridding Fister of two skrallings who had been spotted in the Zeevood. Of course, Wulf suggests to his father that the coal-chewers take on this most base task of defending the small farming community. The Thing concludes with Rathgar picking the men for his raids, and again the heroes are passed over for consideration.
Vay 6th, The Hangangar, Harrhof
A bitter Rathgar presides over the Hangangar. A few skrallings are slain to appease the tree. All in all a neutral sign from the gods that this year will pass uneventfully.
Vay 8th, Axeburg
The heroes make their preparations to journey to Fister. Gerda summons her sons and tells them of a kinswoman of Helga's who lives in Fister who may know the other woman's secret. Gerda insists that her sons find that secret for her to use. What's more, one of their cousin tuskriders needs a husband so she is being shipped south to Axeburg. Grimbold and Grundi both nominate Othere to be her husband.
Grimbold holds a party for the adventure out to the Zeevood. After a rousing speech the heroes start their boasts of their exploits. Atli successfully boasts that he will slay every skralling that he sees. Grundi boasts that he will return two skrallings as slaves.
A drinking contest ensues, and Edvald is the victor.
Vay 9th, Fister
Before the heroes leave, they go to the Vola to get a rune reading. The vola says that the heroes will be successful, but one of their number will perish. The heroes leave on horses, Erkenvald on a draft horse, Atli on a riding dog.
As the heroes arrive near Fister, Atli who was in the lead spots a large column of smoke rising from where the settlement of Fister should be. He rushes ahead, seeking to enter battle but is turned aside by magically guided arrows of the Underwear Gnomes. Atli returns with the rest of the group and the battle is more of a match. A huge two-headed troll appears chewing on the body of Stinegar the Ranger. Atli engages several of the skrallings and slays them with his composite shortbow. Grundi drives back several skrallings on the right flank, taking two prisoner as he had boasted before. Othere brought down two skrallings himself, bolstered by his shield rune. Edvald survived his battle without a scratch, and managed to keep from succumbing to the skrallings' magic. Grimbold charged the front and brought down two of the mightiest skrallings by himself. Erkenvald engages this beast and slays him in one-on-one combat. However, soon after Erkenvald comes out of his beserk he is near death. Only the quick administering of healing aid by Atli spares the trollson's life. Following the battle, the remaining residents of Fister emerge from their hiding place and heap adulation on their rescuerers. The heroes have Dagmar cast runes to determine whether they should persue the gnomes into the Zeevood. She says that the course of action is unfortunate. That evening, the heroes create more runes and have a drinking contest, which Othere the Brewmaster wins easily.
Vay 10th, Zevood
The heroes track the gnomes into the Zeevood, led by Atli. The happen upon a single skralling hiding behind a low rock ridge. Othere charges the skralling and swings -- the skralling was an illusion! The Underwear Gnomes emerge from the woods and bushwhack the heroes. During the battle, Erkanvald is knocked unconscious by a color spray spell, and Edvald runs headlong into the woods in the throes of Beserk rage only to disappear mysteriously. Atli figures that the human beserker was somehow disabled, hogtied, and dragged away by several gnomes. The heroes decide to follow the path.
The trail leads them to a small cave guarded by at least three dozen skrallings. In the field are four well-detailed statues of elf archers approaching the cave mouth. The heroes reason that the statues might be the petrified remains of those who came before. However, as the heroes approach the petrified statues drop their illusions and show themselves as more gnomes! The gnomes attack and are quickly wiped out -- thanks to Erkenvald. Mysteriously, the other gnomes have not attacked. The hordes of gnomes are shown to be illusions themselves, and Edvald is recovered. The heroes enter the cave at a sprint
Inside the cave, Othere falls in a pit and Erkenvald spots a gigantic boulder rolling toward the party. Although the pit is dangerous enough, the boulder proves to be nothing more than a paper-mache replica made to throw the heroes off. The heroes charge up the passage and encounter two doors. The first door holds the prisoners, as well as four gnomes lying motionless and prone on the floor. As the heroes enter the room, two gnomes drop on them from the ceiling as they terminate their spider climb spells. The other door proves to be full of a complement of gnomes. Erkenvald and Edvald charge this door and melee ensues. Grundi detects a secret wall that looks as though it was made of paper-mache. He suprises three skrallings waiting to ambush the party from behind here. The fight rages. Edvald and Dagmar are both knocked out by the gnome sorcerers' spells. Grundi is slain by the three gnomes behind the paper-mache wall. Atli and Grimbold fight valiantly in the cell room to free the imprisoned citizens of Fister. Erkenvald manages to shrug off all the skrallings' spells and finally slay the two sorcerers. Atli strikes the final blow, and the battle ends.
The trapped citizens of Fister include a priest of Bor from the Empire. He introduces himself as Sir Malakai, Knight of St. Hugo and former master of Blacksword. He says that he is in the North seeking the Chain of Guthlac. Apparently, the church is in trouble due to the Prelate going missing and the chain must be located at all costs to bring spiritual stability to the Empire. Also, the heroes encounter Hilda's aunt Brunhilde who tells nothing about Hilda, but instead fills the characters in on some information about Chief Rathgar's first wife, Irmengarde. The whispers that Rathgar is a snake who slayed his wife after begetting a son because she and her family dabbled with the powers of demonology. She goes on to say that although Rathgar will insist that Irmengarde died in childbirth, she was instead turned out into the midwinter cold to die.
Vay 14th, Axeburg
Grundi's funeral is held. On a warm, clear, spring night the nobeman Skald is laid to rest in his ship, In it are the Skald's prized possessions and the two captured skrallings that brought him the fame of his successful boast. Some words are said to honor the gods, and the boat is pushed out to sea. As the sun sets, a flaming arrow sets the funeral boat on fire. A thoughtful reflection of brave Grundi's life commences as the beacon of light from the flaming boat on the moonlit waters reminds all the heroes that the life of a Viking is to burn brightly, and then to sink quietly beneath the waves of time.
Sau 9th, Axeburg
Later that year, there is cause for celebration instead of sadness. Othere's bride Wilma arrives. Suprisingly, she is attractive, demure, and not at all like her aunt Gerda. Not only that, but Othere recieves a dowry of 500sm, two manservant thralls, and a boat to go with his bride. Gerda rewards her new "favorite son" with a small farm on the outskirts of Axeburg. Othere and Wilma are united in an over-elegant and pretentious ceremony wholly funded and planned by Gerda. All the citizens of Axeburg agree that Gerda is from the most attractive and talented family and that she throws the best parties. Hilda is angered sorely.
Treasure Gained From The Expedition
artcarved bone statuette (20 sm)
ceremonial silver dagger with a star sapphire in the pommel (420 sm)
intertwined gold hoop bracelet (200 sm)
large gold cloak pin, dragon design (450 sm)
silver chalice with lapis lazuli gems (20 sm)
small painting, a beach (42 sm)
gold platter, beaten and pierced, 2 feet x 1 foot oval (25 sm)
simple gold cloak pin (47 sm)
chased silver jewel coffer with dryad scene (10 sm)
crystal flagon, polished smooth (50 sm)
gold medallion with a ruby gemstone (650 sm)
old masterpiece painting, a parable (750 sm)
wrought gold eating utensils (75 sm)
wrought silver torque bracelet (150 sm)
rune carvingBull's Strength (l2, cl3) expires in IY 487
gemsalgae (12 sm)
amber (yellow) (12 sm)
opal (yellow) (45 sm)
beryl (white) (27 sm)
blue opal (250 sm)
jet (black, sometimes called 'black amber') (30 sm)
onyx (white) (24 sm)
pink opal (white to cream) (450 sm)
yellow topaz (150 sm)
silver150 sm in "hack silver"